December 21, 2015 - 8:00 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Christmas week will be one to remember this year, at least for sky watchers who enjoy the auroras, meteor showers and full moons.
The winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, will take place Monday, Dec. 21. The Shatford Centre in Penticton will host a viewing of the dramatic sunset beginning at 3 p.m.
The Ursids Meteor Shower, a minor meteor shower known for producing five to 10 meteors per hour, will also peak this week. The shower runs from Dec. 17 to 25 annually and peaks the night of Dec. 22. The pending full moon will hide all but the brightest meteors though.
The last full moon of the year, known as the Full Cold Moon according to Farmer’s Almanac, is expected to reach peak size at 3:11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on Dec. 25, which means Christmas Eve will likely be the best time to view the full moon this year.
While full moons occur monthly, the last time a full moon lit up the sky on Christmas Day was in 1977, and the next one won’t be until 2034, according to NASA experts.
The northern lights have been busy this month and several more storms have been hitting Earth this past week, but it's unknown if another will happen this week.
Unfortunately Environment Canada is calling for cloudy skies at lower elevations throughout the region much of this week, though you may find clearer skies up at higher elevations, including local ski hills.
Want to try your hand at some night sky photography? Check out our tips and tricks for getting the most out of your photo shoot.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015